Tokyo International Literary Festival

The inaugural Tokyo International Literary Festival took place on March 1–3, 2013. We look back at some of the highlights of the weekend, through the words of some of the authors, translators, and book designers who took part in this ground-breaking attempt to explore new possibilities for books beyond borders.

Chip Kidd: How Japanese Pop Culture Inspired the World’s Best-Known Book DesignerPaul Warham

As America’s most in-demand book designer, Chip Kidd has carved out a unique niche for himself as a publishing phenomenon in his own right. Routinely referred to as “the world’s greatest book-jacket designer,” he has also been described as “the closest thing to a rock star in graphic design today.” Among the hundreds of books to benefit from his eye-catching designs are numerous works by Japanese writers, including Murakami Haruki, with whom he has worked for 20 years. Kidd describes Tokyo as “one of my favorite cities in the world.” Back in the city to attend the inaugural Tokyo International Literary Festival in early March 2013, he spoke about his fascination with Japan and the influence of Japanese pop culture on his work as a designer.

International Literary Salon: An Interview with Author Ikezawa Natsuki

In March 2013 some of the world’s leading literary figures gathered at the Tokyo International Literary Festival for three days of lively discussion on the possibilities for world literature in the twenty-first century. We spoke to Japanese author Ikezawa Natsuki, one of the keynote speakers, about the significance of the festival for writers in Japan and around the world.

Literary Bridge-Builder: An Interview with Shibata Motoyuki

Authors, editors, and translators gathered in Tokyo on March 1–3 for the city’s first major international literary festival. We spoke to one of the organizers, scholar and translator Shibata Motoyuki, about the international potential of Japanese literature.

Junot Díaz: Writing the Past, Shaping the FuturePaul Warham

One of the most exciting writers working in English today, Junot Díaz has long been inspired by Japanese popular culture. Visiting Tokyo to take part in Japan’s first major international literary festival, he spoke of his affection for Japan and the inspirational impact that Japanese novels and manga have had on his writing.

Japan’s First International Literary Festival

The inaugural Tokyo International Literary Festival took place in eight venues across Tokyo on March 1–3. The festival brought together leading novelists, poets, editors, and translators for three days of inspiring, well-attended events.

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